CLEVELAND (AP) -- An
environmental group on Tuesday urged the Boy Scouts of America
to stop selling rings made of beryllium, a metal that can
cause serious health problems for workers during production.
Ohio Citizen Action also asked the Boy Scouts
of America to recall the Eagle Scout ring and any other
jewelry made with beryllium.
``Beryllium is a deadly metal. It should not be used to
manufacture jewelry,'' said Amy Ryder, director of Ohio
Citizen Action's Cleveland office. ``There's no reason for the
Boys Scouts to sell a beryllium ring.''
Beryllium is a lightweight metal used in the defense,
automotive and electronics industries. Ryder said beryllium is
not dangerous in a solid form but can cause incurable lung
disease for people who work with the metal when it is mined,
processed or converted into metal alloys.
Boy Scouts of America, based in Irving, Texas, was not
aware of any health concerns about the rings until Tuesday,
spokesman Gregg Shields said.
He said the supplier of the rings informed the group
recently that it was changing the makeup of its Eagle Scout
academy-style rings, but he did not know if the rings would
still contain the metal. He also did not know the name of the
Cleveland-based Brush Wellman Inc. is one of the world's
largest producers of beryllium products and manufactures the
metal at several of its U.S. plants.